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North Riding
Bowes Castle.jpg
Bowes Castle
Grid reference: NY995135
Location: 54°30’58"N, 2°-0’32"W
Population: 471  (2011)
Post town: Barnard Castle
Postcode: DL12
Dialling code: 01833
Local Government
Council: Durham
Bishop Auckland

Bowes is a village in the North Riding of Yorkshire, in the Greta Valley amongst the Pennine Hills. The dale is close to Teesdale at the county's northern edge and the closest town is Barnard Castle, across the river in County Durham.

The A66 and A67 roads meet at Bowes, both following ancient Roman roads: the A66 is a major trans-Pennine route from the Great North Road (A1) to the Eden Valley and Carlisle while the A67 runs the short distance down to Teesdale and across the bridge to Barnard Castle before following the river down on the Durham side.

The village is built around the mediæval Bowes Castle.


Main article: Bowes Castle

The Roman army had a station at name for Bowes, apparently named Lavatrae. In the Middle Ages, Bowes Castle was built within the Roman fortifications.

The only pub in the village, The Ancient Unicorn,[1] is reputed, at least by its owners, to be haunted by several ghosts. This 17th-century coaching inn famously played host to Charles Dickens as he toured the local area.

Dickens found inspiration in the village academy, which he immortalised in infamy as Dotheboys Hall in Nicholas Nickleby; the graves of two of the people who inspired characters portrayed by the great author remain in Bowes churchyard to this day. The headmaster at the time, William Shaw (1782-1850), is said to have been the model for Wackford Squeers in Nicholas Nickleby, while George Ashton Taylor, who died in 1822 aged 19, apparently inspired Dickens to create the character of Smike in the same novel.[2]

Until the 1960s, the village was served by Bowes railway station.

Outside links

("Wikimedia Commons" has material
about Bowes)